By Katherine Gypson
One U.S Capitol Police officer died and another was injured Friday when a driver slammed a car into a barricade outside the U.S. Capitol.
According to the U.S. Capitol Police, the suspect exited a car with a weapon and lunged at officers.
“U.S. Capitol Police officers fired upon him. At this time, the suspect has been pronounced dead,” Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman told reporters.
Police identified the officer who died as William “Billy” Evans. He was a member of the first responders unit and an 18-year veteran of the U.S. Capitol Police.
The incident happened at a vehicle checkpoint on Constitution Avenue, on the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol Complex.
“This time it does not appear to be an ongoing threat,” Robert Contee, the acting chief of the Washington Metropolitan Police Department, told reporters Friday. “Obviously, we’re in the very early stages of our investigation, we need to obviously understand the motivation behind this senseless act.”
The Washington Metropolitan Police Department, along with assistance from the FBI’s Washington Field Office, will take over the investigation into Friday’s attack.
The U.S. Capitol has been surrounded by a security fencing perimeter since the January 6 riot of pro-Trump supporters who attempted to prevent the counting of electoral college votes for President Joe Biden. The outer ring of fencing was taken down just this week, although an inner ring of fencing remains around the U.S. Capitol building.
There are just less than 2,200 U.S. National Guard troops providing additional security at the U.S. Capitol Complex since that riot, which left one U.S. Capitol Police officer dead and many others injured.
The Congress is in recess and most lawmakers are away.
In a tweet Friday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Praying for the United States Capitol Police officers who were attacked at the Capitol. We are still learning what’s taken place. Grateful to all the USCP and first responders who are on the scene.”
VOA’s Jeff Seldin contributed to this report.